August 29, 2019

From: Mary C. Gormley
To: Parents/Guardians and Staff
Re: Superintendent’s Weekly Update
Date: August 29, 2019


On Wednesday of this week, we welcomed our 1st-12th grade students for the 1st day of school. These two days of school (following two days of preparation and Professional Development for our staff – capped off with a terrific performance by the MHS Marching Band) provide students and teachers an opportunity to work together to learn new routines and schedules, establish classroom and school expectations and begin partnerships that will last throughout the school year and beyond. The excitement of seeing old friends, meeting new teachers, making new friends and experiencing new adventures is evident on the faces of our many students and staff on these opening days.

Tucker students and staff were excited to start the morning with their annual visit from Senator Walter Timilty who led the Pledge of Allegiance and welcomed all to a new school year. Tucker ended the day with a surprise visit from Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley who wanted to wish our Tucker students a wonderful year! As you can see in this short video, Congresswoman Pressley took the time to greet many Tucker students on their way home and had a message for them – I work for you everyday in Washington, DC.  Following dismissal she visited the Tucker after-school program briefly and shared with them a wonderful message about reaching their career aspirations. The students repeated back for her to hear “If it is to be…. it is up to me”. Thank you to Senator Timilty and Congresswoman Pressley for taking the time to visit Tucker this week.

On Friday, August 30th and Monday, September 2nd, the Milton Public Schools will be closed for Labor Day weekend.  Follow our MPS Facebook page and MPS Twitter account for news and information throughout the year. The full MPS calendar can be found here.

Please enjoy the long Labor Day weekend and we look forward to seeing all students, including our kindergarten and preschool students, on Tuesday, September 3rd.


Principal Mr. James Jette and Assistant Principals Mr. Ben Kelly and Mr. Brian Mackinaw
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Maureen Kennedy and Mr. Brad Spindle and Ms. Meghan Connors
Please see Mr Jette’s latest summer letter for all MHS information
MHS Open House – September 12th
MHS Athletic Website
MHS Website

Principal Mr. William Fish and Assistant Principals Dr. Nick Fitzgerald and Ms. Janice Mazzola
Administrative Assistants Mrs. Sandy Wyse and Mrs. Susan Higgins
Meet Mr. Fish – The PTO invites you to meet Mr. Fish in the Pierce lobby on Thursday, September 5th 6:30-7pm and Friday, September 6th 8:15-8:45am
Pierce Open House – September 11th 6:30pm
Pierce School Supply lists 
Pierce Webpage
Pierce PTO email contact
Pierce PTO Facebook page

Principal Karen McDavitt and Assistant Principal Sara MacNeil
Administrative Assistant Ms. Deb Woods
BooHoo/Yahoo Gathering (Kindergarten families) Tuesday, September 3 after drop off
Glover Open House- September 26
Glover Webpage 
Glover Twitter account
Glover PTO FB Page
Glover PTO email contact 

Principal Mrs. Holly Concannon and Assistant Principal Mrs. Zeina Hamada
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Joanne Barker
Boohoo/Yahoo Coffee, K parents – cafeteria – Tuesday September 3rd, after drop off
School Picture Day – Monday September 9th
Back to School Picnic at Cunningham Park – Friday night, September 13th
Collicot Open House – Wednesday, September 25th
Collicot Webpage
Collicot PTO email 
Collicot PTO Facebook page

Principal Mr. Jon Redden and Assistant Principal Mrs. Bernadette Butler 
Administrative Assistant Ms. Erica Cadigan 
Boohoo/Yahoo Coffee, K and PreK parents – Tuesday September 3rd, after drop off
Cunningham Open House – September 19th
Cunningham Webpage 
Cunningham PTO email 
Facebook Page
Cunningham School Twitter 
Cunningham School Instagram

Principal Elaine McNeil – Girmai and Assistant Principal Maggie Dillier
Administrative Assistant Mrs. Eileen Keaney
Picture Day-September 6th
Open House-September 26th
Tucker School Supply lists
Tucker Webpage 
Tucker  PTO email contact
Tucker  PTO Facebook page


Aug 30  No School
Sep 2  No School
Sep 3  First Day for Preschool and K
Sep 4  Milton School Committee
Sep 10  Instrument Registration Night
Sep 11  Pierce Middle School Open House
Sep 12 MHS Open House
Sep 18 Milton School Committee
Sep 19 Cunningham Open House
Sep 24 PARENT Speaker Series Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski
Sep 25 Collicot Open House
Sep 26 Glover Open House
Sep 26 Tucker Open House
Sep 27 No School-Professional Development Day
The 2019-20 calendar can be found here.


The July and August  School Committee meetings can be watched on Milton Access TV. The next School Committee meeting is on Wednesday, September 4th at 7pm.


Cunningham 5th graders Caroline Melanson and Sara Callahan held their 2nd annual “Getting Ready for Kindergarten” camp this summer.  The girls had 4-6 K campers each week who practiced kindergarten readiness skills through fun craft projects, read alouds and outside play. Cunningham teacher Ms. Windwer visited the group on the last day for an exciting finish!


Thanks to a very generous Collicot Class of 2019 gift and a successful partnership with Sustainable Milton, the Collicot PTO and the town of Milton, Collicot has new water bottle filling station. This gift reflects the great respect and responsibility Collicot students model. Morgan refilled her bottle this week and so far we have already helped eliminate the waste from 187 water bottles!

The past few weeks have been busy with popsicle playdates, kindergarten meet ups and fun story times. We hope all of our young students had fun and feel comfortable starting school this week and next.


We are excited to announce that Grade 5 Health classes will continue for the 2019-20 school year. Thanks to a generous grant from the Beth-Israel Deaconess Lahey Hospital – Milton, all 5th grade students in the Milton Public Schools will participate in health education lessons using the Botvin LifeSkills curriculum. The grant provides funding for a health educator and curriculum materials. This evidence-based curriculum addresses all of the most important factors leading adolescents to use one or more drugs by teaching a combination of health content, general life skills and drug resistance skills. There’s years of documented evidence of the curriculum’s effectiveness through extensive evaluation and has been proven to prevent or reduce tobacco, alcohol and other drug use. Part of the curriculum will be supplemented with vaping prevention strategies from the Stanford University School of Medicine – Anti-Vaping Toolkit.

The Botvin LifeSkills Training Elementary School program is a comprehensive, dynamic, and developmentally appropriate substance abuse and violence prevention program designed for upper elementary school students. This highly effective curriculum has been proven to help increase self-esteem, develop healthy attitudes, and improve a students’ knowledge of essential life skills – all of which promote healthy and positive personal development. The program learning objectives are as follows:

  • Personal Self-Management Skills: Students develop skills that enhance self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills, help them reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger.
  • General Social Skills: Students gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence.
  • Drug Resistance Skills: Students build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco (including e-cigs), alcohol, and other drugs (including marijuana and opioids).

The lessons include the following topics:Self-Esteem, Responsible Decision-Making, Tobacco/Vaping Prevention (supplemented with Stanford’s Anti-Vaping Toolkit), Media Influences and Advertising, Coping with Stress, Communication Skills, Social Skills/Peer Pressure and Assertiveness.


Save the date for our first event  in the 2019/20 PARENT Speaker Series. Inclusion Specialist Maureen Blazejewski will discuss Supporting All Learners on September 24th at Milton High School.

Coming together with your child’s team each year can be both exciting and stressful, as you reflect upon your child’s progress and plan the new areas of focus. This workshop will offer parents information, insight and tips that will lead to more effective communication and advocacy as you come together with your district team to plan for your child’s educational needs.

FREE and open to the public. This presentation is relatable to parents/guardians of ALL AGES.


This link contains information from SEPAC, Special Education Parent Advisory Counsel regarding multiple upcoming opportunities to meet SEPAC representatives and learn about this vital role they play in our community.


Join us as the Milton Public Schools GOES GOLD this September to raise awareness and show support for children who are battling cancer! From September 16-30th, MPS GOES GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness and there will be several ways for families to participate. We will share all details next week.

As part of MPS GOES GOLD, we are holding TWO blood drives in September. Saturday 9/21 9am-4pm (75 slots)and Thursday 9/26 8am -3pm (75 slots).  Please support this valuable effort and sign up in the links above.


Children need healthy meals to learn. Milton Public Schools offers healthy meals every school day. Breakfast costs $1.25; lunch costs $2.00/$2.25/$2.50 (Elementary, Pierce, MHS) Your children may qualify for free meals or for reduced price meals. Reduced price is $.00 for breakfast and $.40 for lunch. The packet linked here includes an application for free or reduced price meal benefits, and a set of detailed instructions. Below are some common questions and answers to help you with the application process.

Who can get free or reduced price meals? 

  • All children in households receiving benefits from MA SNAP, MA TAFDC, FDPIR, or specific categories of Medicaid are eligible for free meals.
  • Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court are eligible for free meals. 
  • Children participating in their school’s Head Start program are eligible for free meals.
  • Children who meet the definition of homeless, runaway, or migrant are eligible for free meals.
  • Children may receive free or reduced price meals if your household’s income is within the limits on the Federal Income Eligibility Guidelines. Your children may qualify for free or reduced price meals if your household income falls at or below the limits on this chart. 

All information on free and reduced school meals can be found here. More information on our Nutrition Services program can be found here. 


There is a terrific opportunity for part time jobs or substitutes in our food services department. We are hiring for substitute positions at all schools. You’ll be serving healthy food to kids and be home when your kids are home due to the school schedule – what’s better than that?! This can be a great opportunity for parents and retirees and food service experience is a plus, but not required. The starting pay for the food service substitute position is $15.05 per hour. Please email Jackie Morgan or call (617-696-5040 X 5514)  for more information.


All school lunch menus for the month can be found here. 


Laurie Stillman, MPS  SEL Facilitator shares the following.

Did you know that children perform better in school when they learn how to manage their emotions, constructively handle challenging situations, establish positive relationships with peers and adults, develop caring and concern for others, and make responsible decisions?

These qualities not only help students to achieve academically, but they also build character, self esteem and engagement in learning. These social emotional skills can be learned and practiced, and are the underpinnings of having successful careers in a 21st Century economy.  They are characteristics that employers value most, and are associated with higher wages. Here are some tips for raising caring, confident and capable children, recommended by the state of Illinois:

  • Set fair and thoughtful consequences for misbehavior, and then stick to them
  • Ask your children how they feel, and show them that their emotions are important to you
  • Find ways to stay calm when you’re frustrated and angry. Don’t lose control. It sends the wrong message.
  • Give your children room to make mistakes when learning new skills.
  • Give children choices, so they can learn to solve problems
  • Ask questions that help children solve problems on their own
  • Encourage sharing and helping

Fostering these skills will help support children’s resilience in dealing with life’s pressures.


Bus passes for all assigned students have been mailed home and routes and schedules for the 2019-2020 school year are posted on the MPS website under the transportation page. All riders are REQUIRED to present their bus pass to ride the bus every day.  Students will not be allowed to board without their pass.

Please note that in the first week or two of school buses can run early or late based on traffic and new route patterns, please plan to have your student at their assigned stop at least 10 minutes early as we ask for patience as the routes settle into regular patterns for the school year.


The MPS Athletics Dept is busy preparing for fall. Please see  MHS Athletics website  with all you need to know about fall athletics. Roll ‘Cats!

The MHS Field Hockey team will be hosting a car wash on September 7th, 9AM-12PM at the Cunningham School.  $10/car.

The MHS Boys Basketball team will be hosting a “Cans for Cats” bottle and can drive on September 7th, 9am-12pm  at Milton High School.


A Reason to Ride is an annual family-friendly event where participants can choose between a 5K walk or a bike-a-thon with the option of 10-, 25-, or 50-mile rides through the scenic north shore towns of Danvers, Beverly, Wenham, Essex, and Gloucester to benefit cancer care and research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

This event started out as a labor of love for brain cancer survivor and BIDMC grateful patient Tom DesFosses. Tom and his wife, Judy, their close friend, Bob Barry, and numerous grateful patients, friends, and family members, launched A Reason to Ride in 2008 to raise funds for Eric Wong, M.D., and the Brain Tumor Fund at BIDMC. In 2011, recognizing that cancer touches everyone’s lives in different ways, Tom and Dr. Wong expanded the ride to support care and research for other types of cancer at the medical center. We hope you will join us on September 8 as we continue our efforts to support critical research, better treatment options for patients, and someday, a cure.


Milton’s Household Hazardous Waste drop-off day will be on September 7th at the DPW Yard.  As this is the first Saturday of September, and the recycling center’s typical first-Saturday opening will be moved to September 14th.

The Milton Public Library has terrific children’s programs all through September. 


If you do not receive the Superintendent’s Weekly Update and would like to, please enter your email here to subscribe to this one weekly email.

Thank you to my blog contributors this week:  Noel Vigue, Elaine McNeil-Girmai, Liz Spitz, Jackie Morgan, Marti McKenna, Karen McDavitt, Holly Concannon, Sara MacNeil, Bernadette Butler,  Jon Redden, Susan Maselli and Laurie Stillman.

The Milton Public School system does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, gender identity, transgender status, gender transitioning, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its programs, activities or operations. These include, but are not limited to, admissions, equal access to programs and activities, employment, provision of and access to programs and services, as well as selection of volunteers, vendors and employers recruiting at the Milton Public Schools.  We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, students, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Human Resources, 617-696-4812

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